Karachi     -      Quetta Gladiators Captain Sarfraz Ahmed on Wednesday said that he has full hope the quality of cricket, that will be played in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020, will be great and the crowd will see some brilliant matches.

Addressing the media alongside Islamabad United captain Shadab Khan a day before the two teams are due to play their first match of the tournament against each other at the National Stadium, Karachi. Responding to a question about the pressure Quetta Gladiators would be under as defending champions, Sarfaraz said, “My entire focus is on my team. Of course, there is pressure to defend the title, but we will try to continue playing good cricket like we have been playing.”

Shadab Khan, while addressing the media, said that although it was his first time as captain of Islamabad United for the entire tournament, yet he felt there was ‘no pressure because of the team we have, the combination, the coaches, the management’. “My effort will be focused on playing the best I can for my team so that my team wins,” he added.

On being asked how difficult he thought it would be to captain the team in the presence of prominent players such as Ingram and Malan, Shadab said that he thought it will be “easy because they are professional players”. He reiterated that they will play as a team and he would try to seek their advice in case of any difficulties.

Sarfaraz said that is a very positive thing that people are supporting both local and foreign players because “people don’t know how much Pakistanis love [them].” “Now that the entire PSL is being held in Pakistan, I believe this will send a very positive message and after this PSL, more international teams will come to Pakistan.”

Shadab added that the international players are “very excited”. “They said they were very happy because they came here to play [for the people] and the people supported them.” He said there was a lot of excitement generally as well since international cricket is returning to the country after 10 years.

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) medical panel on Tuesday advised the Gladiators to rest the right-arm pacer, who was recovering from an injury to his ribs, for the first two matches of the PSL 2020. Islamabad United will launch their campaign today (Thursday) with their opening game against defending champions Quetta Gladiators.